Lady Wildcats hold off Lady Tigers for 64-56 quarter-final victory

FULTON Pearl River Lady Wildcats fought a scrappy Coahoma squad tooth and nail before pulling out a 64-56 victory here Tuesday in the women quarter-final round of the MACJC State Tournament underway at Itawamba CC.The PRCC women and men, both the No. 2 seeds from the South Division, now move on to Wednesday semi-final round against the top two seeds from the North. The Wildcats (13-10) take on 10th-ranked East Mississippi (20-3) at 3 p.m., while the Lady Cats (16-7) face host Itawamba (22-2) at 6 p.m.PRCC men eliminated North No. 3 Northwest Miss. 75-59 in their quarter-final contest on Monday, while East Miss bombarded South No. 4 Jones County 103-70. The 17th-ranked and South No. 1 Miss. Gulf Coast men (20-4) rallied from a 14-point halftime deficit to knock off North No. 4 Itawamba (9-15) in the quarter-finals, while North No. 2 Holmes (17-7) eliminated South No. 3 Hinds (8-15) 73-64.In other women quarter-final games, ICC women dominated South No. 4 East Central 73-55 to earn their semi-final berth, South No. 1 Copiah-Lincoln (20-4) eliminated North No. 3 Northeast Miss. (9-15) 76-63, and South No. 3 Jones County (15-8) trimmed North No. 2 Holmes (16-6) 64-61. CLCC faces JCJC to open the semi-finals at 1 p.m., while MGCCC men faces Holmes at 8 p.m.Coahoma women were the North No. 3 seed in the tournament.In the Lady Wildcat-Lady Tiger battle, the lead exchanged hands eight times in the first 10 minutes before Pearl River put together an impressive 19-8 scoring run to grab a 31-19 lead its largest of the game with 4:07 left before the break. During the remaining time, Coahoma put up six while holding The River scoreless until point Toy Johnson of Pascagoula High hit a basket at the buzzer to make it 33-25 Pearl River at the intermission.The Lady Tigers opened the second half with a 16-9 scoring surge to pull to within one 42-41 with 10:12 left and kept it close the rest of the way. From that point, PRCC managed to build its lead to nine three times.ShyVuna Johnson led CCC with 16 points (eight rebounds, four assists), while Erica Collins added 11 (six rebounds), Sharonda Vaughn nine, Ciara Morgan eight (eight rebounds, four steals), Alexandria Williams six (five rebounds), and Dayana McGee (five rebounds) and Chandrika Pearson, three each.Shanta Echols of Sumrall High paced the Lady Wildcats with a game-high 17 points (10 rebounds), while Shana Ward, an East Central CC transfer from Carthage, scored nine; Johnson (eight assists, five rebounds, four steals) and Branita Malone (six rebounds) out of Choctaw High in Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., eight each; Daiquari Raine of Poplarville High seven, Lolecia Richardson out of Provine High in Jackson six (five rebounds), Quentessa Bullock of East Marion High (10 rebounds, three steals), Stephanie Fratesi out of Washington High in Leland, Samantha Gunn, a Canton resident who prepped at Velma Jackson High, and Chaquita McGee of Yazoo City High, two a piece; and Jeronda Beason of Poplarville High one.Coahoma hit 56.3 percent (18 of 32) at the foul line to Pearl River 64 percent (16 of 25), while the Lady Tigers were 18 of 56 (32.1 percent) from the field to the Lady Wildcats 24-of-61 (39.3 percent) effort. From three-point range, CCC was two of 12 (20 percent), while PRCC missed all 12 of its trey attempts in the game.The River dominated the boards with 50 rebounds (19 offensive, 31 defensive) to Coahoma 40 (15 offensive, 25 defensive), while the Lady Wildcats committed 26 turnovers to the Lady Tigers 22.Wednesday semi-final winners will face off Thursday with the women title bout set for 6 p.m. followed by the men at 8 p.m.

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